american_red_crossmccPeggy McGee-Smith of Kenmore to provide Disaster Mental Health support

The American Red Cross, Western New York Chapter has deployed volunteer Peggy McGee-Smith of Kenmore to assist the needs of the Canadian Red Cross as wildfires continue to rage in Alberta, Canada. McGee-Smith will be working in Disaster Mental Health, helping those affected deal with the emotional aspect of this disaster.

In addition, two volunteers from the Western and Central New York Region continue to support the Red Cross flood relief efforts in Texas. Scott Chase of Jamestown is working in Client Casework, meeting with affected families and helping them create individual recovery plans. Nancy Hall of Trumansburg is serving as a Health Services volunteer in the Houston area, where more than 4,500 homes were affected by devastating flooding.

A massive wildfire in Alberta, Canada has threatened a dozen communities since it started spreading on May 1. A mandatory evacuation has forced all 70,000 Fort McMurray residents to leave their homes in search of safety – the largest fire-related evacuation in the province’s history. The fire has destroyed homes in several areas and is threatening downtown.

The Canadian Red Cross is helping families impacted by the massive wildfires. Staff and volunteers are providing accommodations, food, and water—in addition to family reunification services. Specially trained volunteers are offering comfort and care to those who have suffered emotional trauma.

When people were evacuated, they left not knowing if they would have a home to go back to. Right now evacuated residents are in urgent need of a place to sleep, food, water and basic supplies. The Canadian Red Cross is supporting efforts at local shelters in Edmonton, Calgary, and Lac La Biche for residents evacuated from Fort McMurray. Additional personnel and equipment are on standby and ready to deploy to affected communities, if needed.

For more information about the wildfires and find out how to get help, visit

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About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

By martha

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